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Debbiedoo's: Spanish Retablo


Diy, thrifty home decor decorating ideas on a budget. Painting furniture, stenciling projects. Turning trash to treasure.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spanish Retablo

Perhaps you are asking yourself, What is a Spanish Retablo?
I had no clue myself until one vacation year we went to Arizona, visited a Spanish mission, and from that day forward  both Mike and I have been  very inspired by the Spanish culture, arts and history. 
Here is a little brief history on a retablo:
Retablos, better known as 'laminas' in Mexico, are  oil paintings on tin, wood or copper which were used in home altars to venerate the almost infinite number of Catholic saints. The literal translation for 'retablo' is 'behind the altar.'
These are just a few examples of these beautiful pieces.
Mike happened to find a beautiful one on Ebay for our home, all hand carved and such detail.

We have had this piece for 8 years now, we love it, and to say it is a WOW conversation piece is an understatement, when people see it, they are very curious.
Most people have never seen one.
Let me share our retablo.
Found an old chippy tin shelf to go under the Retablo
Lighting was purchased at different times. First light from Miami, Fl, and the second light, at a local thrift shop here in the Carolinas's

Hope you enjoyed your history lesson, and a thrifty light  buy.


Also, you don't want to miss my magazine copy cat challenge


Southern Hospitality

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Blogger NanaDiana said...

That is a gorgeous piece and I love the history behind it. How lucky to have found a piece like that! I loved our visits to Mexico and all the culture..and all the school children dressed in their little perfectly white school uniforms. The culture is just fascinating. xxoo Diana

March 22, 2011 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Debbie that is such a beautiful piece!! I love how you added the shelf under it with candles. From the picture I thought the shelf was wood it's so pretty! Martina

March 22, 2011 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

I love that, I can't believe you are just showing it to us. Looks great!

March 22, 2011 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

How pretty is that!

March 22, 2011 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger ~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

That really does make a statement! It's beautiful with all of the details! Very nice! WOW! ♥

March 22, 2011 at 8:10 PM  
Blogger Donnie said...

Growing up in New York and having Roman Catholic family members there was often a small alter in all my relatives homes. That one is beautiful.

March 22, 2011 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger Pam Kessler said...

Wow! The lights are awesome. And the retablo is gorgeous too. Very unique pieces for a unique gal!

March 22, 2011 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Oona Johnson said...

It's beautiful. There is a Mexican artist who creates very intricate Retablo's and diorama's out of potatoes, which sounds gross and a bit blasphemous, but they are are stunning and you would never, ever know they are potato. Maybe that's how the indigenous people made them originally? Don't know.

Yours is absolutely stunning.

March 22, 2011 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Thank you for the very interesting history. I've seen these before, but never knew what they were officially called. Love the way you decorated around it too.

March 22, 2011 at 8:20 PM  
Blogger Olive said...

Art that is. Thanks for the history of the gorgeous piece.

March 22, 2011 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

I love that and thanks for the history on those. Such a great piece.

March 22, 2011 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

Wow, what a beautiful piece! I've never seen anything like it. I can understand why it's a conversation piece.

March 22, 2011 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

This is a gorgeous piece. Don't you just love eBay? Thanks for adding the info about the Retablo; very interesting. Love your shelf and candles too. It's a fabulous presentation. Peggy

March 22, 2011 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Divine Theatre said...

I have an affection for architectural church salvage, though I don't have any retablos.
Come see my Corpus that I bought on Craigslist! It came from an old church in Wisconsin of all places!
I love your blog!


March 22, 2011 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Very nice piece. Your home is so lovely and sounds like it has such great memories attached to each piece you bring in. The best way to make a house a home.

March 22, 2011 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger Karyn said...

It's gorgeous! I've never seen one like that before... It's huge! I love the tin shelf with the candles. I have one with the little drawer to give thanks :) I think they're all beautiful.

March 22, 2011 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

What an interesting and gorgeous collection. While in central Mexico a few years ago, I was so captivated by all the retablos there!
I love your last picture. Don't you wonder who's hands had carved these masterpieces?

March 22, 2011 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

I grew up in New Mexico so I'm very familiar with retablos and santos. They can be very ornate and beautiful. You're very lucky to have one, Deb! Love your lighting, too. :-) Sue

March 22, 2011 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger Jemsmom said...

That piece is absolutely amazing! The color and detail are just beautiful! Thank you for sharing and teaching us a little bit about it!

March 22, 2011 at 9:49 PM  
Blogger Pam - @diy Design Fanatic said...

What a wonderful piece! The history of Retalbo's is very interesting. I am half Mexican and was went to Catholic school up through the university level and had never heard of them. I have even visited many Spanish missions having lived in California. Guess I wasn't paying attention!!!

March 22, 2011 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Pamela said...

Very unique piece ...I have never seen anything like this before!!

March 22, 2011 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger xinex said...

That is really a gorgeous retablo, Debbie. I have a lot of them in Europe and Russia. I would love to have one but I have not seen any with a lot of saints in one that is for sale....Christine

March 22, 2011 at 10:32 PM  
Blogger An Oasis in the Desert said...

I have seen retablos here and there, mainly in the Scottsdale area & they were very expensive. I never saw any as nice as yours. Love the shelf you found to go under it. Nice touch adding the candles. I like those light fixtures, too.

March 22, 2011 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

So pretty! And I learned something!


March 22, 2011 at 11:30 PM  
Blogger Alison @ The Polohouse said...

I am so glad you shared all this! I saw some of these in Tucson a couple years ago and we bought a few of them to decorate my friend's second home out there. I had not idea what the story or history was behind them.
Thanks Debbie!
I love to learn about these things.

March 23, 2011 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger lvroftiques said...

Debbie I'd never heard of retablos before. Thank you for enlightening me! How beautiful! I think I could easily become obsessed....course that doesn't take too much with me!LOL! *winks* Vanna

March 23, 2011 at 12:18 AM  
Blogger The Polka Dot Closet said...

Wow Debbie, that is gorgeous, I can see where it is a conversation piece. I have my post all ready for the party!!


March 23, 2011 at 1:27 AM  
Blogger Bohemian said...

I love Retablos, your Home is lovely and the light fixtures have me positively swooning!

Dawn...The Bohemian

March 23, 2011 at 1:31 AM  
Blogger Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Very beautiful and unique! Not sure how I've been missing your blog, but I'm following along now! Looking forward to getting to know you!

March 23, 2011 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Maude Lynn said...


March 23, 2011 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Good Morning Sweet Friend...
I love your gorgeous Retablo. The shelf and the prayer candles are a beautiful addition. Living in Phoenix, I have seen a few on my travels around the state and you will find some gorgeous ones on some of the small missions.

So lucky to have found one sweet friend. Thank you for sharing. I love touring around your beautiful home.

Country hugs and much love, Sherry

March 23, 2011 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger At The Picket Fence said...

Debbie, that is absolutely beautiful! The colors are gorgeous and it just seems so perfect for your home along with those fantastic lights. Everything you do seems to truly reflect you and what you love! :-)

March 23, 2011 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Debbie I really loved this piece and thanks for the history lesson on these..Your chandy are just beautiful and so glad to see the not matchy matchy thing everyone seem to think you have to have..Love ya my Dear young friend..Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

March 23, 2011 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Daniella said...

Yes, I have heard of them, and they are beautiful!! Yours is no exception! It is stunning! And the shelf, and lighting with it are amazing!!!

I will actually be participating in your color my world party!!! I had to spray paint the cabinets in my new studio!!! Sweet!!


March 23, 2011 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

Debbie, this is gorgeous. I went to Mexico way back when and we got to go to a lot of churches and missions. The detailing and gold around the detailing was amazing. I love the style and always love when you show some of your collection:)

March 23, 2011 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What a lovely, interesting piece. :-) I would love it if you would link up to my Marvelous Mess party!! I will pick one project to feature on my sidebar for a week!!

March 23, 2011 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

That is a magnificent piece! Stunning!


March 23, 2011 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Dee ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ said...


The Spanish Retablo is very pretty and looks perfect in your home.


March 23, 2011 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger René said...

Debbie, those lights are pretty amazing and I love that shelf with all of the detail.

March 24, 2011 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger DIYbyDesign said...

Where have you been hiding this?? It's so cool. Thanks for sharing at my Swing into Spring party.

March 24, 2011 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger said...

Thank you SO MUCH for linking up to WHASSUP WEDNESDAY!!! Great entry:)

Hope to see you next Wednesday!


March 25, 2011 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger brokeintrovert said...

So beautiful!

June 27, 2011 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Fabulous piece. I love when people focus on a couple of really unique pieces and have them as the love objects in their house. Too many places are filled with cookie cutter rooms.

June 27, 2011 at 10:31 AM  

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